Public art action to end overfishing in the Baltic

Published on October 14, 2022

Next week, on the 17-18 of October, the EU Fisheries Council meeting will take place in Luxembourg, where the fishing quotas for 2023 will be negotiated.There will be a public art action outside the European Convention Centrewhere the council meeting will take place.


Photos will be available here on October 17th at 12:00 pm
Video footage will be available on demand: please contact Valeska Diemel at +49 178 810 1714
Where? Pl. de l’Europe, 1499 Luxembourg outside the European Convention Centre, Luxembourg.
When? The installation of the art sculpture “Voice of the Fish” and the handover of the petition “Save Baltic Cod” will take place from 8 am until 11 am on 17 October 2022.

What: A 1.4-metre-high wood-carved sculpture, titled the “Voice of the Fish” will act as an advocate urging Fisheries Ministers and the European Commission to end overfishing when agreeing Baltic fishing quotas. At the same time a photo book will be presented to Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The book has pictures from people around the Baltic Sea as well as a Call to Action to protect Baltic cod.

The twin public actions will take place as the EU AGRIFISH Council opens in Luxembourg, where EU Fisheries Ministers, and Commissioner Sinkevičius, will gather to set fishing quotas in the Baltic Sea for 2023.
Cod has almost disappeared from the Baltic Sea. Decades of overfishing coupled with eutrophication caused by agricultural waste and deterioration of its natural habitat have driven populations of cod to an all-time low, with major ecological, economic and cultural implications.
The public actions stress the vital need of allowing the Baltic Sea and its fish populations to recover and call for more transparency, denouncing how the future of the common ocean is discussed behind closed doors, preventing public scrutiny.

What’s new? A new scientific study finds that ecosystem-based fisheries management increases catch and carbon sequestration through recovery of exploited stocks, such as western Baltic cod, and that past and present overfishing was the main cause of the recent collapse of herring, cod, and profitable western Baltic fisheries. The study also reveals that a continuation of ‘business as usual’ would additionally doom the western Baltic cod population as well as the highly endangered population of harbour porpoise, whereas, changing to sustainable catches with additionally reduced pressure on the key species herring – which is the main prey species of numerous fishes and marine mammals – is likely to rebuild the ecosystem, the cod and harbour porpoise population and profitable fisheries within about a decade. [1]

Who? This public action is organised by a coalition of NGOs across Europe: Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (Germany), Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Germany), Fisheries Secretariat (Sweden), France Nature Environnement (France), Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), Our Fish (EU), Seas at Risk (EU) and Sciaena (Portugal).

Hashtags: #VoiceOfTheFish, #SaveBalticCod

Sara Tironi, Seas at Risk Communication Officer, +32 483 457 483
Dave Walsh, Our Fish, Communications advisor, +34 691 826 764

See also:
“Voice of the Fish” campaign to end overfishing and destructive fisheries:
Video: time lapse of the artist Jared Bartz carving the sculpture:
Return of the Cod campaign ( and the Call to Action to save the Baltic Cod:
Joint NGO recommendations to the EU on the setting of fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea for 2023